Gransnet forums


Granddaughter not showing any acknowledgment nor volunteering help

(108 Posts)
bluerinse Tue 29-Sep-20 22:49:30

We have had 16 year old GD living with us since July. She attends school nearby aiming to achieve entrance to university. She doesn’t offer assistance to the life of the household nor does she show any appreciation when anything is done for her. Meal times are becoming a dread of mine as she picks out the food she doesn’t like despite my having altered our eating habits in the attempt to avoid this happening. Help!

grannypiper Mon 05-Oct-20 19:33:25

She is only like this because you let her away with it bluerinse For her behaviour to change you have to change yours first.

Franbern Mon 05-Oct-20 18:51:50


If teenagers or other children, in general, don't help around the house then the fault is with the adults who have low expectations of their behaviour and do everything for them! My granddaughter is only 9 and, when she stays with me, she often gets up early and sorts her own breakfast, helps prepare meals, lays and clears the table, packs/unloads the dishwasher, makes me a cup of tea etc.

Great -she is 9 yrs old. Copying adults is fun at that age. Let us see how she behaves at 16 yrs - when pushing the adult laid down boundaries becomes the norm,.

ExD Sun 04-Oct-20 13:50:37

BlueRinse, unless I'm mistaken (if so I apologise) I notice that you haven't answered any of our questions, or in fact made any comments at all.
What do you make of all these varied and intended-to-be-helpful replies?

Alexa Sat 03-Oct-20 21:59:47

It is not the girl's fault she is rude . She needs to be taught.

Missfoodlove Sat 03-Oct-20 07:43:14

We have been away sharing a lovely holiday cottage with our friend.
Her 34 year old daughter came along with her boyfriend.
Her behaviour was that of a 16 year old.
She was slovenly, rude ,ungrateful and lazy.
It was embarrassing.
Her mother has never brought her in to line as she cannot cope with confrontation.
Do not make the same mistake.

happycatholicwife1 Sat 03-Oct-20 00:57:02

For Pete's sake, why is this normal teen behavior? Because it has been allowed. When, exactly, did it become normal to be perennially angry, unhappy, never satisfied, lacking in gratitude. Children have always had hormones. There have always been stressors, etc. Yes, talk. Yes, lay out expectations. Yes, show love. Don't allow your house to be run by an entitled, selfish, child. Has she never been taught to say please or thank you? Perhaps a drive through some poor neighborhoods where children really do without might be in order. I can't understand why this has become the norm when it should be the exception. Please don't say Covid. Think of the Jewish children during the holocaust, think of children in war-torn Africa. Yes, my mother actually told me to finish my meal because there are starving children in China. Maybe no TV, no clean laundry, no frills will help her focus. I don't care how much pressure she's under to perform, she should be polite and appreciative. Maybe one less tennis lesson or dance class is in order.

welbeck Sat 03-Oct-20 00:15:16

i think we need more context as to why she is staying with you.
the bedroom doesn't matter, does it, as it does not affect you. actually it was a later poster that mentioned bedroom, perhaps that's not an issue for OP.
but i do think saying teenagers are just like that, is a bit of a cop out. if they are, it is only because adults have allowed them to be so.
if not much is expected of them in terms of contributing to the running of the household, it's hardly surprising that they do little to help.
it never occurs to them to help.
so it's a bit tricky to start now.
as to the food/meals, could you leave her to serve herself in the kitchen, so she takes only what she will eat, to avoid waste. i thought most people did that now anyway.
is she there at weekends too, if so perhaps in a more relaxed moment you could just try to involve her in daily tasks. don't be a servant, it's undignified and unhelpful, as it disables others.
good luck.

moggie57 Fri 02-Oct-20 20:03:11

I think you should set a few ground rules.that she keeps her bedroom tidy .if not just shut the door and let her get on with it.maybe suggest that it would be nice if she helped around the home..but most 16 yrcolds do as they please.its up to you to set ground rules. Maybe ask hercwhat she would like for meals.

happycatholicwife1 Fri 02-Oct-20 16:39:04

I see no reason why this is "normal" behavior. It's only become normal because we've allowed it. I guarantee all teens have had hormones and weren't allowed to behave this way. I was taught the utmost respect for grandparents, and would never have been rude to them. I ate what they served and did what they asked, and thought myself lucky. We now live in a child centric society which kowtows to the temperamental whims of children. That only makes things worse. Love her, guide her, fix something she likes sometimes, but do not change your diet for her. You're doing plenty and don't put up with any crap. You don't owe her anything. Quite the opposite, she owes you love, respect, and cooperation. She's busy. She needs to plan better.

Hithere Fri 02-Oct-20 14:21:07

We have to remember that different ages have different priorities

Ask a 16 year old and most probably a sitdown family dinner is not on her list at all
Studying, getting homework done, seeing her friends, etc - those are more age related

Different ages, different steps of life. None are wrong.

trustgone4sure Fri 02-Oct-20 14:11:55

NotTooOld is spot on.
But i find more and more that the youth of today are selfish beyond belief and i blame the parents who indulge them for a quiet life.

Naninka Fri 02-Oct-20 05:56:18

My daughrer at 16... left every light on, showered for hours, watched rubbish till late into night, picked over her food, sighed a lot and looked at me as though I were from a different planet. She is in her 30s now. A deputy sister of a hospital department. Loving. Kind. Thoughtful. Tidy. Wise with money. She's had her wedding cancelled through Covid-19 but remains pragmatic and cheerful.
Your GD is fine. Really, really normal behaviour.

Donatia Thu 01-Oct-20 16:09:53

My Granddaughter was much the same at 16, she is 19 now, she lives with me, her Nana, and I love her being here, such a lovely friend. There is hope yet xx

mumofmadboys Thu 01-Oct-20 10:12:14

My 24 year old son works in a childrens home. He has recently told me I didnt make him
and his brothers help around the house enough! He is right!

ExD Thu 01-Oct-20 09:34:49

Bluebelle, I don't see anyone suggesting 'old school' discipline to the problem, but at the same time I wouldn't suggest she sit around and be waited on hand and foot.
No - we don't know the in's and out's of why she's living with her Gparents, but I've been in that situation myself having had a Gchild in the household right in the middle of her (what were then) her O levels.
I do think you should take into account the impossibility of "sitting someone down" and discussing it - you can't expect a teenager to sit in a chair and listen to to a lecture on 'us all pulling together' and 'sharing'. Have you ever tried?
(actually I haven't - but I once tried with my husband as the listener - it didn't work). I just feel a softly softly approach might work - she could make the odd cup of tea for her GM surely?

mumofmadboys Thu 01-Oct-20 07:41:27

Could you say after a meal 'Gosh I am tired today.Would you mind doing the dishes ? I really must sit down' and assuming she does it , thank her and then repeat with other requests on other days.

Feelingmyage55 Thu 01-Oct-20 00:40:16

Honey than vinegar

Callistemon Wed 30-Sep-20 21:11:01

I think this young lady will respond better to love, humour and encouragement. If she is calm, no tantrums, no disappearing till 4 in the morning, let her settle in

I think so too.
Leave her be in the week, perhaps encourage her to join you in a couple of chores at weekends, cheerfully and not as an order.

Good luck.
Teenagers can be very tricky.

Feelingmyage55 Wed 30-Sep-20 20:48:27

Gosh I must be soft. I think this young lady will respond better to love, humour and encouragement. If she is calm, no tantrums, no disappearing till 4 in the morning, let her settle in. If the OP takes much of the above advice, it will create a combative atmosphere. 16, Covid, schoolwork, living away from home. I’d sit down with her when she comes home form school, make her a hot chocolate, model kindness and graciousness. Say, “let’s make the meal together” etc. Remember you catch more flies with honey and vinegar.

trisher Wed 30-Sep-20 20:32:10

This thread has just reminded me of a family I once knew who were having problems with their 2 teenage children and mealtimes (Not coming on time, refusing to eat, demanding something different etc). The wife was a teacher colleague, the husband an Educational psychologist. There was a theory at the time that families restricted children's development. Hubby bought in to this theory and suggested they allow the children their freedom. They would be provided with food they liked in their own sections of the kitchen. They were then free to eat when they liked, whilst mum and dad would eat together. By the end of the third day children had eaten most of their food and were appearing at the table asking "What are you having?". By the end of the week they were back to family meals.

ayokunmi1 Wed 30-Sep-20 20:25:25

All though hormones might be at play .
There is no excuse for this behaviour
It doesn't make it right or acceptable.
How fortunate we are is all I can say .

coastiepostie Wed 30-Sep-20 19:01:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

M0nica Wed 30-Sep-20 18:35:24

Have you ever sat down and discussed this with her? 16 year olds can be awkward, but treat them as equals and explain how much extra work you have to do and the problems of you all adjusting to each other and changing your diet and they often prove to be surprisingly co-operative.

You could then discuss little bits of help she could help you and possibly you could suggest that at weekends she helps in the kitchen. If she is heading for university, one of the best skills she can take with her is the ability to cook simple cheap nutritious meals.

eagleswings Wed 30-Sep-20 18:17:37

I agree with Hithere and eazybee.
Your granddaughter might feel more part of the family if she was on a chores rota and helped choose and shop for your food. When at Uni, the same will probably be expected..?
All the best with it.

albertina Wed 30-Sep-20 17:35:09

Ditto to what LadyBella said. Your situation is different but I am sure she is surrounded by love and help.

My two daughters had to adapt as I was a lone parent with no family living near me. Very unwillingly they followed a plan for each week that involved the helping around the house, sometimes cooking evening meals and washing up.

At the moment my Granddaughter of 13 is putting her parents through it. She's a wonderful girl but is living on her own planet, completely detached from anything around the house as boring as dishes and cleaning.